New Paintings by the American Artist at Gagosian London
Opening on 5th October and ending on 17th December this year, the London Gagosian Gallery will present a unique collection of new paintings by Ed Ruscha. In the restrained art works that compose Extremes and In-betweens, all completed in 2016, Ruscha sets in motion a dynamic interplay of words and their meanings in ascending and descending shifts of scale and tone that echo the relation of macrocosm to microcosm.
A distinct group of four paintings take up the recurring mountain motif in Ruscha’s oeuvre, which first appeared in the 1990s. Underscoring other references to cinematic devices across Ruscha’s oeuvre, the blushing mountain peaks that appear at the centre of each canvas are framed as if in a darkened cinematic aperture, and subtitled with relational word groups such as in All Some None. This verbal progression, in turn, echoes the conceptual vanishing points of the word paintings.
In a career spanning more than five decades, Ruscha has distilled the archetypal signs and symbols of the American vernacular into typographic and cinematic codes that are as accessible as they are profound. The wry choice of words and phrases that pervade his work draws upon the moments of incidental ambiguity implicit in the interplay between language and the concept that it signifies. Although his images are undeniably rooted in the signs and symbols of American reality closely observed, his elegant and laconic art speaks to more complex and widespread issues regarding the appearance, feel, and function of the world and our tenuous and transient place within it.
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco also opened a major solo exhibition of Ed Ruscha at the de Young Museum, which is on view from July 16, 2016 to October 9, 2016. Ed Ruscha and the Great American West features more than eighty works spanning the artist’s career, exploring his attachments to the sights and scenes of the iconic landscape.
Ruscha currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California. (Source: Gagosian Gallery)